Transnet Portia Derby

Outgoing Transnet CEO Portia Derby. Photo: Supplied

‘Useless’: SA calls for Transnet CEO to be axed over remarks

Transnet CEO Portia Derby is being dragged on social media for expressing fears over job losses in the trucking sector, should rail improve

Transnet Portia Derby

Outgoing Transnet CEO Portia Derby. Photo: Supplied

South Africans have reacted with anger in response to remarks attributed to Transnet CEO Portia Derby about the rail and trucking industries.

Many are calling for Derby to be removed from her post after she apparently expressed fears of possible job losses in the trucking sector, should rail improve. She was appointed to the post in January 2020.


As someone appointed to revive the South African rail industry, the Transnet CEO’s comments were condemned by many on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Lawyer Richard Spoor also weighed in, saying: “It is best not to fox the railways because that would be bad for the trucking industry, says Transnet CEO. Like decent transport is bad for the taxi industry, and piped water is bad for water tanker entreprenerus.”

While another X user, Giulietta Talevi said: “So she’s an advocate for the mom and pop trucking industry now? This is excruciating. Get a grip.”

“Now it all makes sense. She is useless and must be fired as soon as possible,” another said on X.

ALSO READ: EFF: Transnet CEO Portia Derby should be in jail for coal tender


The social remarks were in response to a News24 article, in which Derby said a series of problems at Transnet forced miners to make use of trucks to transport commodities to the coast, as opposed to rail.

“We have created the demand — our failure on one hand and also the demand of the mining industry has created the trucking industry. For the vast majority of the truckers, they are moms and pops, who when they left work took their pensions and bought a truck because there was an opportunity,” she is quoted as having said at a recent Bloomberg event.

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